Pope Francis to have COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week

Pope Francis holds the weekly general audience
Pope Francis holds the weekly general audience at the Library of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican, December 23, 2020. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

MILAN, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Saturday he planned to have a COVID-19 vaccination as early as next week and urged everyone to get a shot, to protect not only their own lives but those of everyone else.

"I believe that ethically everyone should take the vaccine," the Pope said in an interview with TV station Canale 5. "It is an ethical choice because you are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others."

The Vatican City, the smallest independent county in the world, has said it will shortly launch its own vaccination campaign against the coronavirus.

"Next week," the Pope said, "we will start doing it here, in the Vatican, and I have booked myself in. It must be done."

Reporting by Crispian Balmer Editing by David Holmes

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